Now it’s time for answers! Authority’s controversial plans for restaurant and holiday apartments in Wells to come under spotlight

The toilet block next to the play area on beach road in Wells. Picture: Ian Burt

The toilet block next to the play area on beach road in Wells. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Councillors and residents will demand answers as one of the most unpopular proposals in Wells' recent history comes under the spotlight.

An artist's impression of the proposed development at Wells. Picture: NNDC

An artist's impression of the proposed development at Wells. Picture: NNDC - Credit: NNDC

Numerous questions remain unanswered over North Norfolk District Council's (NNDC's) plans to have a 100-seat restaurant and holiday apartments built close to the town's nationally-renowned Quay.

And as the district council enters into a consultation with Wells Town Council and the community NNDC leader Tom FitzPatrick has promised that local opinion will be taken seriously.

Mr FitzPatrick said: 'We are working together with the local community to ensure we get the best result for Wells that everyone is happy with.

'The whole idea of this consultation is to listen to the community.

North Norfolk District Council leader Tom FitzPatrick.

North Norfolk District Council leader Tom FitzPatrick. - Credit: Archant


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'This is not a planning application, at this stage, and there will be plenty of opportunity for people to have their say now and further down the line.'

The strength of feeling over the plans for the site of the public toilets at the town end of Beach Road was emphatically clear at a public meeting, in February, attended by more than 200 people, with the vast majority in opposition.

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Many believe the development would not be in keeping with a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Some have questioned the morality of using public money to set up a business to compete against existing traders and concerns over potential traffic problems have been raised.

The level of interest in the scheme prompted North Norfolk District Council's cabinet to vote for a full consultation with Wells Town Council and the local community before plans are taken any further.

Wells Town Council chairman Allen Frary said: 'They've agreed to go into this consultation with us and now they need to listen to people's views and concerns.

'We want to know if other sites have been considered, if the district council's business plan over this stands up and how they intend to address the many other concerns that people have in the town.'

Five members of Wells Town Council and five representatives from NNDC will meet once a month over six months to discuss the various issues.

A meeting was held this week and NNDC agreed to give town councillors two months to gather views and information before the first of the six meetings takes places. This is expected to be in May.

Town councillors will meet with local residents in between these six meetings to provide opportunities for them to raise concerns.

Wells Town Council will also be sending out questionnaires to every home in Wells and some homes in neighbouring villages to gather people's views.

With NNDC facing cuts from central government funding it has proposed this development as part of its plans to raise money from its corporate assets to avoid raising council tax and making cuts to services.

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